Showing posts from October, 2020

reflecting on the #socialdilemma, do mirrors provide a true reflection?

This is a response to the filmmaker Jeff Orlowski Netflix documentary Social Dilemma .  If you have not watched it yet, it is worth it.  There are many write up’s,  here are three of my picks one , two three .    However, rather than write another commentary on the pros and cons of the movie, I wanted to reflect on the idea that Social Media is a reflection of society - as this is a core tenant on the work.  The big theme is that all the platforms do is create a mirror reflecting back what society is like.   However, there is more than one type of mirror!   The play in our minds is that a mirror is a mirror and does what it says on the tin, it reflects. If true, job done as such and it makes no sense to read on.  However, we know from CSI and other spy films there are one ways mirrors as well.  If we look at Social Media only through the lens of a reflecting mirror; we certainly can’t blame anyone for any outcome but ourselves.   But we intrinsically know that Social Media is not a

Power, agency and influence: a new framework about complex relationships

Developing a Framework In this post, I am going to explore the relationship between power, agency and influence. The intent is to unpack each of these words and their relationships to each other. Power, agency and influence can have a constructive or destructive relationship cycle. We will explore how power, agency and influence in a constructive cycle lead to better outcomes and conversely how power, agency and influence in a destructive cycle lead to worse outcomes. We love the analogy about peeling an onion. We peel back one layer to reveal a new similar layer, each layer enabling us to offer a new idea or thinking and adding complexity. Often we use this model for ourselves to get to our inner core and what values drive us. As we peel back each layer of power, agency and influence, we will find there more complexity and interconnectedness; much we cannot grasp in the context of decision making and governance. As we peel back more layers of interconnections, we will find there are

Why do we argue about words and not outcomes?

Differences are everywhere and one can always find data to back the story you want to believe or promote.  We know that any story at an extreme makes fantastic click-bate and headlines which are designed to absorb your attention. Extremes make a point, but they also help to (re)-enforce bias which creates gaps, separation and divisions.   Directors are responsible for outcomes but often we get lost in a particular preference for a method, an approach, trusted processes, specific technologies, policies and personal bias. We are blinded and unable to see that we share a common goal or intent, desiring the same outcome. However, we hold on to experience that means we passionately believe we know the best approach.  By way of example, working from home for some leaders remains an unacceptable long term solution.  Preferring workers to be in an office that is paid for and that staff can be managed and seen.  The outcome is that we desire that workers deliver the work that they are given to

A new digital problem. Hiding emotions behind video noise is easy. How do we find the signals again?

A new problem #covid has bought into sharp focus is our loss of connectivity and togetherness. There are some serious consequences for those who are Directors with responsibly. How do you know when someone presenting to you is trying to bluff, mislead, guide, lie, direct or nudge you to a particular outcome. Over time individuals who serve on boards learn the skills of emotional maturity to help determine if they are being guided to a decision or a decision made for them. In truth, unpicking intent was hard anyway even when we all met up in one room, but it is far harder now with video. We have lost access to the face-to-face skills and the experiences we have built up as we are not in the same room. How do we detect the signals again? We need to recognise that we have not (yet) developed all the essential skills for a digital life. This is never more true than when we are making judgement or decisions that matter as they have consequences. We have no eye contact (we look at screens an